Before we dive into all the formal questions, we are very curious to know in which restaurant we can find you most often. In other words, what is your favorite hotspot?
My favorite hotspot is actually always discovering a new one! But mostly in Amsterdam, because I live near Amsterdam. For inspiration, I like to check out the websiteYour Little Black Book. I recently ended up at Pluk for a nice lunch, but I also really like the Lobby! Or, if you are in Haarlem, the Jopenkerk.
Ha, we put that on our to-visit list, thanks for the tips! Speaking of food: what about guilty pleasures? What can we wake you up at night for?
Besides the fact that I love discovering new restaurants, I can also really look forward to an evening of steak at Loetje! With fries and good old fashioned lettuce, haha! And of course a Dame Blanche for dessert.
So recognizable, we can also be found at Loetje a lot! On to the ‘serious’ business. How long have you been working at Etos and how did you end up there?
I’ve been working for Ahold Delhaize since 2003 and in 2012 I started at Etos. Before I started working for Etos, I worked in many marketing and communication positions within Ahold. The last project for Albert Heijn was the 125th anniversary, which included the successful ‘store save’ theme. After this, they were looking for someone at Etos to focus on the activation of the Own Brand. A position that didn’t exist yet and that I really liked! And to this day the position is full of new opportunities and challenges!
We like to believe that! And what does a day look like in a position full of challenges?
Full! My days are sometimes filled with consultations. In fact, I think it’s important to take a multidisciplinary approach to own-brand projects. Because I am responsible for both the programming and activation of major private label introductions, as well as steering smaller activations, I am often the starting point. As a result, I sometimes run out of time. But it does make the job incredibly versatile. Never a dull moment!
You have been responsible for the activation and communication of the own brand for about 5 years. What was actually the reason for Etos to set up its own brand and when did they start?
A very long time ago. Etos has had its own brand for as long as I can remember. The relaunch with our new design started in 2014/2015. The own brand is no longer an offshoot of an A-brand, as it might have been in the past. The own brand should be the reason for customers to go to Etos. A lot of work has been done on quality; either differentiate or improve. And the packaging; it really should be a piece of jewelry to put down! But that’s all the work and merit of merchandise, the brand director and our product developers! My job comes next.
Have you noticed much difference since the new look & feel?
Yes indeed, the own brand share is still rising every day.
You just said that the focus is on quality. But because it is an own brand, there is of course a lower price tag. Is this a difficult combination to achieve?
The own brand at Etos stands for a good price and quality ratio. That is something else than a low price tag. With Etos we want to offer the right products, sometimes innovative, sometimes traditional, with good quality and a ditto price.
And if you want to launch new products on the market, where do you get the inspiration again and again?
We work closely with trend agencies to be able to spot new trends quickly and respond to them. We also have a whole team of product developers who keep an eye on the trends together with the category managers and buyers.
And when you see a trend you want to capitalize on, how long does it take before there is actually a product in the store?
We all think it takes too long, but unfortunately there is not always anything you can do about it. The processes/protocols etc. within Ahold Delhaize are simply very meticulous.
Just a question of conscience in between. What is your favorite Etos product and why?
I have several; besides medical products such as paracetamol or nasal spray, I use a number of vitamin supplements of our own brand such as Magnesium citrate. But also the hand soaps in the pumps; not only nice to put on the counter, but the content is also very nice. And the makeup remover with oil I really use for years. But also all kinds of skin oils are great. And the makeup brushes are maybe my favorite. Haha, actually I can’t choose so well I notice!
Ok, it was a tricky question. It does show how wide the own brand range is. Is there anything you miss in the assortment? And if so, which product would you like to add?
Well, I would not so much like to add a new product, but I would like to innovate. Especially in the health corner. We already have a lot of vitamins and supplements, but there are so many innovations every year there too. Almost impossible to keep up, I know, but I’m going to focus on this a bit more in the near future. What this is going to mean for the product range, I don’t know right now.
We will keep an eye on it! And now we come to the last question, perhaps the most difficult: what do you think is the best PR/marketing campaign by Etos ever?
The best ever, I wouldn’t be able to say. But I am very proud of how we set up the Etos Friends program together with you at the end of last year. I really believe in that. But the launch of the new Etos own brand diapers with a Woezel and Pip event was also really fun and cannot be missed on the list. This year we also launched a great sun campaign for our own brand sun products, with a category-wide message: Spread the cream, beat the sun. In short, many great campaigns!
This article was written by Michelle van Donge, Beauty PR consultant at Mooi The Agency, in collaboration with Etos.
“We are known for our creative ideas, well organized events and activations”